Direct Property News

July 13, 2020

‘Regional Renaissance’ drives UK property market

National annual house price growth has stayed stubbornly below 5% for the last two years, charting just 2% in the year to September. With the headlines dominated by a lagging London market and apparently lackluster national price growth, it’s easy to be swayed by the negative outlook. But the downturn is the fault (at least in part) of the south east of England. Cities like Birmingham have routinely outperformed London. In the year to June, house prices in Birmingham grew by 5.6% — their slowest annual rate since December 2015 but still 1.2% above London growth for the same period . National house price growth might paint a negative overview, but there is opportunity for developers […]
July 8, 2020

Could the changes to UK planning laws lead to opportunities for investors?

In his major ‘new deal’ speech last week, where he stood in front of a lectern with the slogan of ‘Build, Build, Build’ and set out how the UK is going to recover from Covid-19, Boris Johnson outlined a number of proposed changes to Britain’s seven-decades old planning system. This included a relaxation of planning rules to make it easier for land and buildings to be converted quickly, with developers granted the ability to change vacant shops to homes, and builders able to demolish vacant shops and build homes in their place, without planning permission. New regulations will be implemented which will allow for buildings and land in town centres to change use without requesting planning […]
July 6, 2020

Is now the time to invest in buy to let?

Buy to let remains a popular investment option for Brits, despite being the subject of major reform over the last three years. Government legislation since 2017 has been increasingly hostile towards buy-to-let owners but could the aftermath of the pandemic prompt a change? Figures from 2018 show that the Private Rented Sector [PRS] provides homes for over a fifth of the population, that’s more than 4.7m households, making it bigger than the Social Sector and it’s doubled since 2002. Large institutions are discovering their appetite for what’s called Build To Rent [BTR] – effectively whole developments given over to renting – somewhat later than their European counterparts who, despite a lack of house price inflation in […]
July 2, 2020

Property: This UK city was most successful during lockdown – where to buy and sell now

THE PROPERTY market has been very different for the last few months due to the coronavirus crisis. These are the UK cities that have fared the best during this time. Those hoping to buy or sell a property will have noticed a huge change to the property market during the coronavirus lockdown. As the market has started to pick up again, these are the towns which have been most successful in putting properties on the market. At the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, it became more difficult to buy or sell a property. House viewings were cancelled and homeowners were discouraged from moving into new properties. As restrictions relax, more normality has returned to the housing […]
June 30, 2020

The best way to invest in property

The perennial debate among investors focused on adding property exposure to their clients portfolio is the choice of open or closed ended funds if investing in bricks and mortar property. Open-ended funds can fall foul of a liquidity mis-match, whereby the end client can withdraw their money at one day’s notice, but the underlying investment is in an asset that cannot quickly be sold. This creates the potential for funds to be unable to pay out clients in the event of an economic downturn. Fundhouse M&G suspended its property fund at the end of 2019 as investors withdrew £1bn. And the Covid 19 crisis meant that the 11 open-ended property funds with daily dealing in the […]
June 24, 2020

Property market sees ‘astonishing upsurge’ as sales rise in May – latest house price data

THE PROPERTY market continues to show signs of initial recovery, with the number of homes sold rising in May, according to latest data from released by HMRC this morning. Despite estate agents and surveyors in England only being able to return to work from the middle of last month, the number of homes sold increased by 16 per cent, with a total number of 48,450 completed sales in May, compared to the 41,760 residential sales recorded in April, according to seasonally adjusted figures. While encouraging, these figures do illustrate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the UK housing market, as when viewed against the 96,050 homes sold in the UK in May 20190, today’s figures […]
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